Community News

Apologies to our regulars for the rather thin news over the last few months. Sr Margaret Atkins, our regular ‘reporter’ has been away in Rome, as acting Academic Tutor at the English College. This involved living right in the centre of Rome (not a hardship!) and assisting the seminarians with their studies, especially Latin and Greek language and philosophy.

It was a wonderful experience, and very encouraging to see such nice and fine young men offering their lives for the priesthood.
A big thank you especially to the Staff at the College for making it such a rewarding time.

It was also an opportunity to meet up with one of our Nigerian Sisters, Sr Eugenia, who is studying at Castelgandolfo. But it’s also very good to be back home!

Sr Margaret & Sr Eugenia

Meanwhile, life at Boarbank has been as busy as ever.

The three big events have been, very happily, the Final Profession of Sr Florence, at Pentecost, which has already been reported CLICK HERE 

 Sr Florence Final Profession Sr Florence Final Profession 

The First Elections in the One Community of Our Lady of Hope - also reported elsewhere CLICK HERE

and, rather more sadly, the return of Sr Geneviève to her home community in Malestroit in Normandy. We have been enormously blessed by her presence for over ten years, and she has made more friends over here than any of us can count. She returns home with all our love and best wishes, and with the hope that we will be able to continue the ‘French Connection’ in many different ways.

Sr Genevieve

Sr Eileen and Sr Margaret M. will be visiting her later this summer after attending the General Chapter of the Federation in September.

Fr Robert Marsh OSA

Other community events have included singing with Ann Lampard, a couple of significant birthdays of older Sisters

and a Lenten retreat from Fr Robert Marsh OSA, the new Augustinian Provincial.

Various Sisters have also been able to attend the lifetime commitment of Mary Tierney as an Oblate at Hyning, the first consecration of Sue Lawrenson with the Company of St Angela Merici and the ordination of Fr Daniel Etienne in Lancaster.

Many congratulations to them all.

Another treat for some of us has been the chance to enjoy the marvellous series of Grange classical music concerts - many thanks as always to our kind benefactors.

On 17th January we celebrated, for the first time as a single Community along with our Sisters at Ince Blundell, the Community Feast of Our Lady of Hope. We continue, of course, to celebrate also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Boarbank Feast Day, on 11th February!

As always, Easter was celebrated joyfully, along with a houseful of guests and other friends joining us for meals. Sr Eugenia, who was visiting us and is Nigerian, took considerable trouble to teach a small band of Sisters and visitors an Offertory procession song. She has a lovely voice, and much patience! The congregation were a little ...surprised, but everyone joined in, and said afterwards how good and joyful it was. Sr Margaret played the drum and kept us all to the beat!

You can listen to her singing a part of the song here...

Also, you can read one of Fr Dixie’s Eastertide sermons. CLICK HERE

Several Sisters have been going on pilgrimage over the summer, four to Lourdes, with the Lancaster and the Hexham & Newcastle Dioceses, and one to Fatima.

In January we said “Goodbye, thank you and every blessing” to Fr Alex from the Parish in Grange as he retired to his native Poland.

The fort was ably held for a short while by Fr Anthony Gaskin and now we have a permanent Parish Priest, Fr Philip Smith, with the enlarged responsibility for the Kent Estuary Churches. Thankfully, Mgr Slattery remains as Vicar for Religious and has visited us socially in that capacity.

Nursing Home

Our Matron, Sally Fisher, is starting an in-house newsletter, the Boarbank Bugle, and has also been writing regularly in Grange Now, the local newspaper

CLICK HERE to read the latest issue and watch this space for new developments.

Sally’s Thought for the Month: “Nurses and carers are angels in comfortable shoes.”

Celebrations have included a hundredth birthday celebration of one of our residents, still a very active and lively lady, pictured here with Sister Geneviève.

 Residents Birthday Party  Residents Birthday Party


Two Wings and a Prayer, a mix of retreat and birdwatching holiday, was a new event. It was blessed by wonderful Maytime weather and much enjoyed by beginners and experienced birders alike.

Particular thanks to Karim for training us up in the basics of birdsong.

 2 wings and some prayers group 2 wings and some prayers 

Places are limited, so if you are interested in next year’s week, please contact SR MARGARET 
For a full report CLICK HERE

The first Thinking Scripture, in mid-July, was a long weekend and took a general theme, God in the Bible.

It was led by our usual team, Fr Dixie, Sr Margaret A. and Dr Geoffrey Turner.
If you are interested in the full week in October, there are still a small number of places left. For a full report CLICK HERE

Thinking Faith, inspired by the anniversary of the Reformation, took as its theme ‘Change and Conversion’. We pondered big changes in history, dramatic changes in personal lives, and social and ecological changes. A particularly lively session considered the implications of the invention of robots. Thinking Faith gives Catholic students and younger professionals a rare chance to come together to think seriously about issues of importance, in an atmosphere of fun, friendship and community.

 Thinking Faith Group Fr Richard Finn  O.P. 

If you know anyone who might enjoy this, please spread the word! For a full report CLICK HERE and for information about next year please contact SR MARGARET

Guest House

The Guest House has been busy with our usual visitors. Resident groups have included Our Lady’s High School in Lancaster for a retreat. Day groups have included Eaglesfield Paddle
Church of England Primary Academy who were delightful and well prepared - a credit to their families and the school - and the ladies of the Grange Methodist and United Reformed Churches.

We were also blessed to share in the Mass for one young girl making her First Holy Communion - not exactly a first for us but the first in a long time. Congratulations to Heidi and her family.

We have welcomed as volunteers to the Guest House Cosma, Elena and (for a return visit!) Helen. Many thanks to them for their hard work.

The Gardens have been looking particularly fine recently, even getting a mention in a homily from a visiting preacher! The fruit and vegetables have been superb again - we are currently overflowing with excellent grapes, a foretaste of the kingdom.

Not just a Coffee Morning!

Once again there was an heroic effort by Sisters, Staff and volunteers, and great generosity from all our visitors. The excellent sum of over £9,000 was raised and a good time was had by all, despite the indifferent weather.

We remain deeply grateful to all our benefactors who support us in so many ways- in prayer, practically and financially through the Coffee Morning, raffles, 300 Club, Gift Aid, Legacies, Give as You Live and donations. May the Lord bless them all abundantly for their generosity and care.


To some great friends of the Community- Mr Joe Smith, Paul Tomlinson, Brother Anselm (Harold) Thompson, a Montfort Missionary who had spent his last years in Marymount, Grace Makin, Catherine Chryste, Gerry Quinn, Iris Cross and Joyce Couperthwaite